Carol de Cardenas

Executive Director

Carol de Cardenas is the recipient of the 2017 Austin Woman’s Way Award presented by Austin Woman magazine for Woman-led Business of the Year. She has 28 years of teaching and administrative experience in elementary and secondary education, undergraduate and graduate studies. From 1999–2001, Carol served as board director and public relations chair for the Lake Travis Education Foundation. She continues to be involved in planning fundraising events for student scholarships and other charitable organizations. Carol earned a B.S. in elementary education with a specialization in reading from Texas A&M University and received a M. Ed. and Certification in mid-management from the University of Houston. She has also received ESL (English As A Second Language) and GT (Gifted and Talented) certifications.



Jenny Eaton

Administrative Manager

Jenny Eaton is a flute teacher and orchestral music enthusiast from San Antonio, TX. She earned her Bachelor of Music emphasis Marketing degree through the University of Texas at San Antonio, and worked in the education departments of the San Antonio Symphony and The Florida Orchestra. She also served as a public information coordinator with the Texas Education Agency for approximately ten years. Today, she contributes her education administration skills to ASPVA and teaches flute to students in the Hays County area.


Patricia Whitney

Academic Team Leader

Patti Whitney graduated with honors from NYU, with a Master’s in special education and is currently working towards a doctorate in educational leadership.  Patti has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in the public and private sector for the past 19 years. She has also been a long time, summer camp administrator.  In addition to teaching academics, Patti is an equestrian riding instructor, a junior golf coach, a ropes course/team building instructor, and a children’s book and song series editor.  She especially enjoys teaching laboratory sciences and classical literature.  In her spare time, Patti  hikes, kayaks, bikes, writes poetry, and volunteers at a horse therapy program.


Jillian Fisher

Academic Learning Coach

Jillian graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Psychology and Mathematics. She currently works for the UT Mathematics Department as a Specialist assisting with multiple undergraduate courses mostly focusing on PreCalculus and Calculus. In addition, she also works for Texans Can Academy, a school devoted to supporting underprivileged populations in Austin. She is also currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters in Statistics. When she is not working or at school, Jillian enjoys ballroom dancing and Acroyoga.


Ben Seidman

Academic Learning Coach | Theatre Teacher

Ben Seidman is a singer, musician, and actor who holds a BFA in theater from NYU and an MAT in music education from the University of the Arts.  Ben has played roles in New York, regionally, and in national tours. Some shows include Pippin (Pippin), The Spitfire Grill (Joe Sutter), and Rocky Horror (Rocky).  Ben has been teaching music and theater for four years in Boulder, Colorado and Austin.  Ben enjoys biking, hiking, reading, and trying lots of new things.


Jeannine Armbruster

Visual Arts

Jeannine Armbruster is the Founder and Lead Designer of Fourth Story, a graphic and web design company based in Austin, TX and Brooklyn, NY. She also serves as a Director for International Student Learning, based in New York, NY. Ms. Armbruster holds a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design, and her work has won awards on both the local and national levels. She obtained her MA in Art Education from City College of New York and holds a teaching certification in grades K-12. She relocated to sunny Austin in July, 2015, from New York, NY, where she designed and implemented the full Upper School Visual Arts program at the Mary McDowell Friends School. During this time, she developed and taught a variety of visual arts courses to provide career skills and college readiness for students with speech and language-based learning disabilities. In her teaching, Ms. Armbruster strives to impart upon her students the value of taking creative risks and empower them to, as Apple, Inc. would say in 1997, “Think different.” In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, scuba diving, swimming, and spending time with her canine sidekick.



Charlie Magnone

Piano and Music Composition & Lyrics

Dr. Charlie Magnone is a musician based in Austin, TX. Primarily a keyboardist, he performs often in solo, collaborative, and interdisciplinary capacities. He also works as a songwriter, producer, engineer, arranger, and teacher.  Charlie studied piano performance at Syracuse University, where he received his B.A., and The Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees. In addition to his work at ASPVA, Charlie maintains a small private teaching studio, co-directs Fast Forward Austin, a non-profit dedicated to the presentation of contemporary music, and tours regularly with Parker McCollum.



Benjamin Cox


Benjamin Cox, baritone, is a native of North Little Rock, Arkansas. He completed a bachelor’s in vocal performance from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s in vocal performance from the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, where he held the Barbara Smith Conrad Presidential Endowed Scholarship in Fine Arts. He made his professional operatic debut as Wagner in Austin Lyric Opera’s Spring 2012 production of Gounod’s “Faust.” He was a winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing State Auditions, and a recipient of the 2nd prize from the Hot Springs Music Club Auditions. His former teachers are David Small, Dr. Martha Antolik, and Dr. George Antolik. He served on the voice faculty for the 2014 Butler Opera Center Young Artist program at UT. He currently is working on his doctoral studies at the UT-Austin Butler School of Music, maintains a private voice studio, and works with several school choir programs as a voice teacher in the Austin area.



Arnold Yzaguirre


Arnold Yzaguirre is a classical guitarist performer and teacher. He is an active solo and ensemble performer from small to large concerts with audiences of 1,000+. Arnold is the founder/member of classical guitar duo Duo Cantabile. He has performed in several master classes with guitarists such as Philip Hii, Douglas Rubio, Adam Holzman and Pasquale Rucco. One of the highlights of his career thus far is being a part of Austin Classical Guitar as the current event manager, where he works with 30,000 classical guitar patrons annually. He is also an artist for Austin Lullaby Project, a professional collaboration with Austin Classical Guitar and Carnegie Hall Weill Institute. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, biking, building furniture with reclaimed wood, watching movies and lots of live music. He currently teaches classical and flamenco guitar styles and techniques in Austin at ArnoldYzaguirre.com.


Hannah Brightwell


Hannah Bacon-Brightwell is a native of  Southwest Louisiana. She has been active as a teacher, student, and choreographer in the dance world for over 10 years. She attended Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where she was a member of the NSU Modern Dance Troupe and captain/choreographer of the NSU Demon Dazzler Dance Line. She has been an honored member of the National Dance Alliance for over 10 years, where she has served as a head instructor and judge throughout the country. She is currently the assistant art director for Gravity Dance Company as well as the artistic director for Verge Dance Company, where she strives to spread passion and creativity to both her students and the dance community in Austin. Through continued training via workshops and intensives around the country, she continually pushes to find new ways to explore the art of dance and expose this incredible art form to people from all walks of life.


Betsy Hudson


Betsy Hudson is a former member of the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company’s “Met Too,” award-winning member and captain of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, choreographer for NFL dancers, and music video and live performance choreographer for up and coming artist ZAYRA. She has studied under choreographers such as Liz Imperio, Steven Boyd, and Dorrell Martin, and danced for Jazz Dance World Congress. Betsy graduated from Sam Houston State University, where she served as captain of the dance team, which was presented with the College Dance Team National Championship in 2005. Betsy continues to dance and serves numerous charitable organizations including ASPVA, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also established a successful dance program for the Catholic Charities After-School Program for Refugee Children.



Kelley Glover

World Music Drumming

Kelley Glover earned a bachelor’s in music education from Howard University and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and was teacher of the year at Round Rock ISD’s Ridgeview Middle School in 2006. Her children’s choirs have performed for the Kennedy Center Honors television awards show and have recorded with the group Sweet Honey in the Rock. She is the creator of a children’s music literacy cartoon and sight singing game app called “U BETTER Sing!” which were rated as the #1 Best Selling New Release for DVDs/Games on Amazon from their premiere date of December 2015 to February 2016. She has appeared as a featured speaker on the PBS show “Blackademics.” As a vocalist, dancer, and actress, Kelley has performed onstage with Denzel Washington, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Bonnie Rait, Kris Kristofferson, and has opened for Pat Benatar with the Omar Lopez Band. Kelley also does voice over work and can be heard on local and regional radio commercials. Her original reggae music is played regularly on KAZI 88.7 FM.